eginning in 2016, the Adventist church in Japan sought General Conference support for initiating new church planting work across Japan. After several years of discussions and seminars, in 2019 the General Conference and Northern Asia-Pacific Division entered into a partnership with Japan to create Mission Unusual—Tokyo! It’s a disciple-making movement designed to share the light of Jesus with millions of unreached people living in this massive urban area and form many new groups of believers.

Tokyo is recognized by the United Nations as the world’s largest urban area, so this movement is an ambitious effort. A team of church-planting missionaries and local pastors are on the ground, working closely with Japanese church leaders and learning how best to share Jesus with Japanese people. They spend hours each day preparing for the work within central Tokyo.

From Brazil: Yure and Lais Gramacho and their children Pastor Gramacho is the program director.
From Japan: Nozomu and Sachiko Obara and their children Pastor Obara is the associate program director.
From Japan: Ben and Madoka Nichols Pastor Nichols is the assistant director for developing contextualized discipling curricula and resources.
From the United States: Sergio and Raquel Quevedo and their children Pastor Quevedo is the assistant director for church planting.
From Brazil: Daniel and Svitlana Meder and their daughter Pastor Meder is the assistant director for young adult ministry and urban outreach.

It’s not just the population size that makes outreach hard. There are many barriers to religion too. The Japanese society is largely secular, but their values, worldview, and language are shaped by eastern philosophies. Another challenge is overcoming the isolation of the older generation. Reaching out to them and showing them compassion can be tricky.

Missionaries such as Yure and Lais Gramacho have been creating connections with their neighbors. Simple tasks such as shopping, visiting the local park, and practicing their growing Japanese vocabulary with strangers on the street are all opportunities to connect.

The leadership team gathers each Sabbath to pray, study God’s Word, eat, laugh, share challenges, and seek the Holy Spirit together.

Amazing things are happening in Tokyo. Over time, the ministry team will grow as plans are carried out to bring in Global Mission pioneers, urban centers of influence, volunteers, and tentmakers. The challenge of ministering to the world’s largest city can sometimes seem too big, but God’s power can overcome all barriers.


Please pray!

Pray that God will help our Mission Unusual—Tokyo! missionaries 

  • learn the Japanese language,
  • build a strong, united team,
  • make friends and disciples.

Pray for God’s guidance and blessing in Mission Unusual—Tokyo! 

  • for the planning of urban centers of influence,
  • for the church planting training of local Japanese volunteers, 
  • for the development of a contextualized discipleship curriculum. 

Millions of dollars are needed to reach Tokyo’s masses for Jesus, and every dollar counts. If God is moving on your heart to support this unprecedented program, please give at Global-Mission.org/giving.


Watch “Update on Mission Unusual—Tokyo!” at m360.tv/s2141.

Ricky Oliveras Office of Adventist Mission